Victorian Stitchery Retreat:
Road Trip to Wichita

Barbara Blankenship © 2009

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Last November our Lake Jackson Crazy Quilt Bee decided to make a road trip to Wichita, Kansas, and attend the Victorian Stitchery Retreat. Valerie Bothell with the Pink Bunny organized the retreat and offered some great classes taught by three wonderful instructors; Carole Samples, Judith Baker Montano, and Betty Pillsbury.

For years our group has wanted to take a class from Miss Carole, so we decided this trip was a must. In the early hours of the morning we packed five ladies and their belongings into one suburban and started our twelve-hour trip. We had great confidence in “Jeannie” and felt totally prepared. By the way, we lovingly refer to my Garmin GPS as Jeannie.

The sixth member of the group met us in Wichita. It’s a special husband who will take the time to bring his wife to a crazy quilt retreat attended by a large group of enthusiastic and talkative women.

Our experience in Wichita was wonderful, and the retreat a great success. I thoroughly enjoyed spending three days under the tutelage of such a gracious and talented lady. I’m so excited with all I learned from Miss Carole. Her book, A Treasury of Crazy Quilt Stitches, used in conjunction with her Dream-A-Seam templates has opened a new realm of stitching opportunities for me.

Valerie will host the 2009 retreat in November, and by popular demand, Carole, Judith and Betty will be returning as instructors. Val will also be teaching a class this year and I’ve included a photo of the class project below.

The retreat offers crazy quilters a wonderful opportunity to learn from these well-known and extremely talented ladies. The dates for the 2009 Retreat are November 5, 6 and 7. Please check out Val’s website for additional information regarding the retreat.

Although “Jeannie” was a blessing on the trip, we found she had one limitation…she is unable to unlock a car whose keys are in the ignition. I would like to thank the Roanoke Fire Department for coming to our rescue, and one lovely lady who made all the calls and waited with us. If you are in the market for real estate in that area let me recommend Stacey Perry with Century 21 Realty. Thank you, Stacey, for coming to the aid of five stranded motorists. We appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.

A Few Special Photos

Carole Samples had some wonderful crazy quilted projects to share with us. She is such a talented artist and her book and templates are a must for any crazy quilter. You can purchase her book and templates online at the Pink Bunny website.

Betty Pillsbury is an award-winning textile artist and crazy quilter. These photos represent a sampling of her wonderful creations.

Judith Baker Montano is a renowned fiber artist, author and crazy quilter. Pictured here are some of her creations on display at the retreat. She has a wonderful new book and CD. Please refer to the book review in our last issue

Valerie Bothell hosted this fabulous retreat. She is a well-known crazy quilt instructor and owner of The Pink Bunny in Wichita, Kansas. In this first photo are the ladies who made all this possible: top row: Dixie Derksen, Judith Baker Montano, Valerie Bothell, Betty Pillsbury, seated: Carole Samples and Lori Schen. The second photo is the beautiful project Val will be teaching this year at the retreat.

It was a pleasure seeing Martha Green, well known fiber artist and crazy quilt instructor in attendance.

Our very own Lake Jackson Bee member and CQMagOnline writer, Julie Yonge, won first place in the nametag contest. Pictured from left to right and in order of placement are: Julie Yonge, Martha Green, Lori Schen and Debbie Higgins.

Our Lake Jackson group just had to pose with the 2008 Piecemaker’s Quilt. Pictured from left to right are: Lynnis Burt, Jan Campbell, Linda Balcom, Karen Burke, myself and Julie Yonge.

Mark your calendars and make plans to attend the November Victorian Stitchery Retreat in Wichita, Kansas. You are guaranteed to have a fabulous time! Valerie tells me she has had a wonderful response this year. She has reached the halfway mark on enrollment, and two of the classes are full.


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